Most people today have learned about the "theory of evolution" at some point during their grade school years, and assume this theory is fact. Though most people do not know the details behind this theory, who proposed it, and what evidence the theory has been based on.
Evolution is perhaps badly taught in some schools. This is a comment on teaching, not evolutionary theory.
If anyone stops to take a look at this so-called evidence, they will realize that much of it is not evidence but simply a combination of assumptions and wishful thinking. Below is some information we gathered from different sources on the subject which we feel are true.
Completely untrue. That evolution occured is supported by a vast amount of evidence. A number of inter-related theories give a detailed and robust account of how it happened.
The Problem
Throughout the centuries scientists have always argued where life on earth came from. "Creationists" are people who believe we were created by God.
But creationists are not scientists. Why should their views on scientific matters be considered relevant if they can offer nothing but unsubstantiated assertions? If they have scientific evidence to offer, they can offer it in a scientific context.
People who do not believe there is a God find the idea of life being created by a superior being unthinkable.
To an atheist, God is irrelevant, not unthinkable. In any case, this has nothing to do with the 'theory of evolution'. There are many evolutionary scientists who believe in God. Belief in God has nothing to do with science.
So these people have been forced to try and think of other possible ways how life could exist on earth in so many different forms (from a single cell all the way up to complex life forms called Homo Sapiens or human beings).
Many scientists believe in God. Most of the world's Christians believe that evolution has occured. They accept evolution because the evidence to support it is overwhelming. It is the evidence of the natural world which forced scientists to develop the theories which underpin geology, palaeontology and biology. Many of them came from a background of deeply held religious conviction.
The Theory
In the 1800's scientists normally examined rocks and fossils (or the "fossil record") to determine what life forms existed during different periods in history. At that time a several scientists had proposed different theories of evolution which they felt could explain our existence.
The theories were devised to explain the evidence. This is the nature of science.
Most notable among these men was someone named Charles Darwin who, observing that in some cases plants and animals showed an ascent of increasing complexity in strata (layers of rock and dirt), proposed his own theory of evolution.
Charles Darwin based his theory of natural selection almost entirely on his observations of living plants and animals.
Charles Darwin assumed the forms higher in the strata physically evolved from the forms lower in the strata. In other words, Darwin was saying that over many many years, small living organisms must have evolved into more complex creatures, which evolved into fish, which evolved into birds, which eventually evolved into larger animals, then into people, all by themselves.
He proposed his theory of evolution (which was already well-accepted) by natural selection (which explains the process)
Charles Darwin then devised a theory in 1859 which stated that there is always a "struggle for existence" among living creatures and that only the fittest survive. In addition he stated that nature, over long periods of time, gradually selects and promotes features of increasing complexity and usefulness for survival. He called this built in feature "natural selection".
Badly stated, but basically true
Scientists who did not believe in the creationist point of view (that we were created by God), were quick to adopt this new "theory of evolution" (having nothing else to go on at the time), and a battle between the "Creationists" and "Evolutionists" was born. By the year 1900, this new theory was well accepted by a large number of scientists and the battle between both sides was still ongoing.
Some scientists adopted this view, others didn't. There was a great deal of argument, rival theories were proposed. The battles were between different scientific theories, not between scientists and creationists.
What the Fossil Records Show
Throughout the 1900's scientists continually studied the fossil records to try and determine if the theory of evolution was really the "fact of evolution".
The facts are not theories. A theory cannot become a fact. It can be supported by so much evidence that it can be treated as a fact. Gravity is 'only a theory'. That evolution has occured can be treated as fact because it is as well supported as the theory of gravity.
argument from ignorance
If the theory of evolution were fact, then the fossil records would clearly show the gradual transformations over long periods of time that Darwin spoke of.
It does. There are numerous examples. Even a little research will show that this is the case.
argument from ignorance
But despite intense research for over 150 years since the theory of evolution was proposed, no instances of a transitional form have been found in the fossil records.
Many fossils representing what to any reasonable person are 'transitional forms' have been found, most famously Archaeopteryx.
What the fossil records do show is each life form suddenly appearing, full blown, without any apparent relationship to what went before it.
Completely and utterly untrue. Any basic textbook on palaeontology will show many examples of progessive development.
Why evolutionists look the other way and call this a lie is incredible.
The call it a lie because that's what it is.
These few quotes on the subject speak for themselves!
All the larger groups of animals, e.g. fishes, amphibians, reptiles, mammals seem to have appeared suddenly on the earth, spreading themselves, so to speak, in an explosive manner in their various shapes and forms. Nowhere is one able to observe or prove the transition of one species into another, variation only being possible within the species themselves" Evolutionist, Max Westenhofer as quoted in Dewar's More Difficulties, p. 94
Max Westenhofer died in 1957 - nearly 50 years ago! I have no idea how old this quote is, but it is hardly relevant to the modern science of palaeontology. For an excellent account of the story of the fish/amphibian transition, read Jenny Clack's book, "Gaining Ground".
The evidence of Geology today is that species seem to come into existence suddenly and in full perfection, remain substantially unchanged during the terms of their existence, and pass away in full perfection. Other species take their place, apparently by substitution, not by transmutation Geologist, Joseph Le Conte
Joseph Le Conte died in 1901 - over 100 years ago! We have discovered a lot of fossils in the past 100 years.
Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory. Charles Robert Darwin, The Origin of Species: The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life, 1st edition reprint. Avenel Books
Darwin died in 1882! In any case, this quotation is taken from the begining of a section of the book in which he provides an explanation for the patchy fossil record. Taking it out of context in this way is dishonest
The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology (study of fossils). In any local area, a species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors, it appears all at once and fully formed." Dr. Stephen J. Gould, Prof of Geology and Paleontology, Harvard University. Mentioned in one of his regular columns in Natural History Magazine (1977) and also in The Panda's Thumb, 1980, p. 181-182
Again, a quote taken out of context. Gould was presenting his argument for punctuated equilibrium. Note the phrase 'in any local area' Is the author seriously suggesting that Gould did not believe that evolution occured?
different species usually appear and disappear from the record without showing the transitions that Darwin postulated -- we are now about 120 years after Darwin and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn't changed much -- We have fewer examples of evolutionary transitions than we had in Darwins' time Dr. David Raup, a paleontologist at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Field Museum Natural History Bulletin 50:22- 29
Again, a quotation taken out of context which forms part of a larger discussion.
Evolution requires intermediate forms between species and paleontology does not provide them Dr. David B. Kitts, Paleontologist
Who goes on to say "The claim has been repeatedly made that the fossil record provides a basis for the falsification of synthetic theory [Neo-Darwinism] and Simpson has demonstrated that this is not the case."
Kitts outlines several different hypotheses as to why the fossil record appears the way it does, among them Punctuated Equilibrium, but at no point does he abandon evolution as an explanation for what is seen
The known fossil record fails to document a single example of phyletic evolution accomplishing a major morphologic transition Evolutionist, Dr. Steven M. Stanley
Stanley actually wrote: "Some distinctive living species clearly originated in the very recent past, during brief instants of geologic time. Thus, quantum speciation is a real phenomenon. Chapters 4 through 6 provide evidence for the great importance of quantum speciation in macroevolution (for the validity of the punctuational model). Less conclusive evidence is as follows: (1) . . . (5) The known fossil record fails to document a single example of phyletic evolution accomplishing a major morphologic transition and hence offers no evidence that the gradualistic model can be valid."
Once again, it is part of a larger discussion presented out of context
The record certainly did not reveal gradual transformations of structure in the course of time. On the contrary, it showed that species generally remained constant throughout their history. New types or classes seemed to appear fully formed, with no sign of an evolutionary trend by which they could have emerged from an earlier type. Bowler, 'Evolution: The History of an Idea', 1984, p. 187
I can't track down the source of this quote. Can anyone give me the context? It reads as an historical account of the development of evolutionary theory, and may well refer to the situtation in the middle of the 19th century.
don't know
As an example, if the theory of evolution were true, then the fossil records would ALWAYS show a smooth transition from one life form to another,
No it wouldn't. This simply shows ignorance of evolutionary theory.
argument from ignorance
such that it would be difficult to tell where invertebrates ended, and vertebrates began. Though this is NOT always the case.
It is hard to tell where invertebrates end and vertebrates begin! Just ask any conodont worker.
Instead, fully formed life forms have been discovered to suddenly jump into the fossil record seemingly from nowhere, with illogical gaps before them where their ancestors should be.
No they don't. This is a very outdated view of the fossil record.
Many evolutionists do not dispute this fact, while others look the other way.
It's not a fact. Nobody 'looks the other way'. The premise is outdated and flawed.
Darwin's View On The Gaps In The Fossil Records
Darwin was aware of the gaps in the fossil records though he felt there was more to his theory which explained this.
And gave a good analysis of why this should be so.
Since human beings can breed living things for special characteristics (i.e. breed sheep for heavier wool, breed horses for extra strength, and roses for color and size), Darwin reasoned that if man could bring about small improvements in living things in such a short period, then nature could surely bring about similar tiny improvements over millions of years in living cells, which could allow them to evolve all the way up to human beings given enough time. In other words, Darwin felt plants and animals could vary to an unlimited degree, and given a time span of say, a hundred million years, it could close all of the gaps in the fossil records.
Fine so far
Next we will see that this is not the case.
Breeding Limitations
While Darwin expressed plants and animals could vary to an unlimited degree, breeders were discovering otherwise.
No they were not. Breeders were selecting for characters which make their breeds economically superior. They were not trying to push the limits of what is possible.
They were discovering that even though it was possible to breed a sheep with shorter legs, it was NOT possible to breed a sheep with legs of a rat, or breed a plum the size of a watermelon, or breed a horse with tusks.
Nor would evolutionary theory suggest that they should be able to. In any case, how about a 1458 pound pumpkin?
That's a greater increase in size from a normal pumpkin than a plum to a watermelon.
Each living thing was found to have built in limitations which prevent it from moving too far from the norm. Excessive breeding for a characteristic was also found to either result in a reverse back toward a given average after many generations,
This applies in the case of the greatly accelerated evolution, selecting for a limited number of specific features which is what breeders are trying to do. Natural selection is a much more subtle mechanism, and takes place over much longer time scales.
or it resulted in dead end species which were unable to reproduce (like the mule which is a cross between a horse and donkey).
Mules are not the result of selective breeding, but hybridisation.
argument from ignorance
To date no breeding experiments have ever resulted in major, new traits resulting in a completely new species.
Depends on how you define a species.
Darwin had no answer for this limitation and simply assumed there variations could continue to an unlimited degree without evidence. And that is still the case to this day.
Yes he did have an answer! Just read 'The Origin of the Species'!
Some evolutionists like to refer to speciation via breeding in plants as proof for evolution.
No they don't. They offer it as supporting evidence, which is what it is.
Though breeding experiments in animals and humans has always run into a limitations and has NEVER been shown to produce a brand new species.
Depends on what you mean by a new species.
So breeding cannot be used as proof for evolution.
It gives very good supporting evidence
Some quotes regarding breeding can be seen here.
People are misled into believing that since microevolution is a reality, that therefore macroevolution is such a reality also. Evolutionists maintain that over long periods of time small-scale changes accumulate in such a way as to generate new and more complex organisms ... This is sheer illusion, for there is no scientific evidence whatever to support the occurrence of biological change on such a grand scale.
There is a vast amount of evidence to support such an assertion, starting with all living organisms alive today.
In spite of all the artificial breeding which has been done, and all the controlled efforts to modify fruit flies, the bacillus escherichia (E-coli), and other organisms, fruit flies remain fruit flies, E-coli bacteria remain E-coli bacteria, roses remain roses, corn remains corn, and human beings remain human beings." Darrel Kautz, The Origin of Living Things, p. 6
If Breeding Is Not The Cause Of Evolution, Then Maybe Mutations Are?
Since breeding was found to have limitations, this put a road block in the way of the theory of evolution.
No it didn't, as breeding was not 'found to have limitations'
Though Darwin also felt that if breeding were not the answer, then mutations might be.
Darwin had never heard of mutation! Gene theory was only developed after his death.
Utter Bollocks!
In other words, he felt maybe it was possible for forms of life to inherit changes, which could explain changes from one form of life to another over long periods of time.
Inheriting changes' is a description of Lamarckism, a refuted alternative theory to natural selection. Why should Darwin embrace Lamarckism? Having said that, Darwin himself was concerned about the lack of a known mechanism whereby characters could be passed on through generations.
Utter Bollocks!
Mutations Are Typically Harmful, Sometimes Neutral and Are Rare
Creationists and even many evolutionists immediately pointed out that all observed mutations whether laboratory induced or occurring naturally have typically been harmful, or in some cases neutral.
Some are beneficial to the organism. There is a huge literature on the subject. Antibiotic resistance in bacteria is an example of a beneficial mutation. There are many other examples.
Again, the author is giving completely undeserved credit to creationists for pointing out these non-existent flaws in the theory. Unless a reference will prove me wrong?
Mutations are typically a copying error or mistake, which cause things like disease or monstrosities and put the organism at a disadvantage.
Mutations are copying errors, by definition. Some give the organism an advantage. There is a huge literature on the subject.
In addition, mutations have been discovered to be an extremely rare event since genes have built in functions to stabilize and resist change.
Each cell of the human body carries about 120 mutations in each cell. They are only rare in the context of the large numbers of genes we carry.
So in other words, mutations are rarely seen and when they do occur, they they do not bring out an advantage to any living thing.
Simply not true
Evolutionists like to use examples of beneficial mutations in antibiotic resistance to bacteria, or in mutation of the tomato for example, though none of these types of mutations are relevant to any ideas about one kind of creature changing into another.
Bearing in mind that mutations are one of the sources of variation on which natural selection operates, of course it's relevant!
One kind of creature changing into another via beneficial mutation has simply NEVER been shown.
Beneficial' is entirely a judgement based on circumstance. Mutations have been observed to cause speciation.
For evolutionists to state that many favorable, random mutations have occurred is completely unfounded.
It's very well founded, and has been observed in the laboratory and in the wild. This is simply an unfounded assertion.
Mutations simply cannot be the cause for evolution into new, healthy, more complex living organisms.
They are one of the sources of variation on which natural selection operates, so of course they can.
Again, many evolutionists simply state this fact is not true, when proof is everywhere. These evolutionists are simply in denial.
The evidence to support the hypothesis is everywhere. Only the creationists are in denial. Another completely unfounded assertion.
Some quotes regarding the mutation theory can be seen here.
To postulate that the development and survival of the fittest is entirely a consequence of chance mutation seems to me a hypothesis based on no evidence and irreconcilable with the facts. These classical evolutionary theories are a gross over-simplification of an immensely complex and intricate mass of facts, and it amazes me that they are swallowed so uncritically and readily, and for such a long time, by so many scientists without a murmur of protest." Sir Ernest Chain, Co-holder of the 1945 Noble Prize for developing penicillin
What has this quote, which is well over 60 years old, have to do with 'mutation theory' (whatever that may be)?
Nine-tenths of the talk of evolutionists is sheer nonsense, not founded on observation and wholly unsupported by facts. This museum is full of proofs of the utter falsity of their views. In all this great museum, there is not a particle of evidence of the transmutation of species. Dr. Etheridge, World famous palaeontologist of the British Museum
"The widely touted “Dr. Etheridge, of the British Museum,” who always appeared in creationist literature without a given name, was quoted by Townsend as saying, “In all this great museum there is not a particle of evidence transmutation of species. Nine-tenths of the talk of evolution is sheer nonsense, not founded on observation and wholly unsupported by fact. This museum is full of proofs of the utter falsity of their views.” The content of Etheridge’s statement varied from work to work, and its source remained unidentified, except for Alexander Patterson’s comment that Etheridge was answering a question put to him by a Dr. George E. Post. When curious parties in the 1920s inquired about the identity of Etheridge, the director of the British Museum surmised that the man in question was “Robert Etheridge, Junr., who was Assistant Keeper of Geology in this Museum from 1881 to 1891,” at which time he left for Australia, where he died in 1920. The director hastened to add that “Mr. Etheridge’s opinion on this subject should not be considered as in any way representing scientific opinion in this Museum.”
...the educated public continues to believe that Darwin has provided all the relevant answers by the magic formula of random mutation plus natural selection – quite unaware of the fact that random mutations turned out to be irrelevant and natural selection a tautology."" Arthur Koestler, Soldier, writer and philosopher "
Why are Arthur Koestlers views considered authoritative on the subject of evolution? What has this to do with 'mutation theory'?
With the inability of mutations of any type to produce new genetic information, the maintenance of the basic plan is to be expected.... There are limits to biological change and these limits are set by the structure and function of the genetic machinery. L. P. Lester Ph.D. and R. G. Bohlin Ph.D, "The Natural Limits of Biological Change"
Simply not true.
Variation is one thing, evolution quite another; this cannot be emphasized strongly enough... Mutations provide change, but not progress." Pierre Grasse, Editor of the 28-volume "Traite de Zoologie," for 30 years the Chair of Evolution, Sorbonne University, and ex-president of the French Academie des Sciences, "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.88
This is the opinion of Pierre Grasse. It is not supported by the evidence.
To improve a living organism by random mutation is like saying you could improve a Swiss watch by dropping it and bending one of its wheels or axis. Improving life by random mutation has the probability of zero. Albert Szent-Gyorgi, Nobel Laureate (Medicine, 1937)
Note: 1937. We have discovered a lot about the nature of biological organisms in the past 70 years
In 10 million years, a human-like species could substitute no more than 25,000 expressed neutral mutations and this is merely 0.0007% of the genome — nowhere near enough to account for human evolution. This is the trade secret of evolutionary geneticists. Walter James ReMine, The Biotic Message : Evolution versus Message Theory
If Evolution Didn't Occur Gradually, Maybe It Occurred Rapidly?
Another evolutionist from Harvard named Stephen Gould next proposed a possibility on how evolution could be taking place which he felt may also explain the gaps in the fossil records. He proclaimed that maybe evolution does not occur gradually, but maybe rapidly.
Rapidly' in geological terms is still very, very slow in terms measured against human life-spans. And he didn't 'proclaim', he proposed.
He proposed a scheme called "punctuated equilibrium" where he mentioned that maybe it was possible that large populations of species live unchanged for millions of years, then for some unknown reason some of the species become isolated, and by unknown means evolve into new species. Thus this new isolated species would appear suddenly in the fossil records, which would explain the gap before them.
Not 'for some unknown reason', or 'by some unknown means'. There are many possible mechanisms for geographical isolation - we can observe them at work in the world today - and natural selection takes care of the rest.
Since there were no other explanations which could logically explain the gap in the fossil records, many evolutionists accepted the "punctuated equilibrium" theory initially.
There are plenty of other explanations; incompleteness of the record is the most obvious.
Punctuated Equilibrium Directly Opposes Laws Of Genetics
Notice that Gould's proposed "punctuated equilibrium" was filled with "what-if's" and was purely speculation
Any scientific theory starts as speculation. Punctuated Equilibrium was not 'pure speculation'. It was (and is) a hypothesis well supported by evidence.
Creationists immediately made it clear to all that no one had ever seen rapid evolvement of a species and there is no proof of such a thing ever occurring.
Creationists are completely irrelevant. They are not scientists and do not offer scientific arguments. There is plenty of evidence for rapidly evolving species.
In addition, "punctuated equilibrium" opposes all known rules of genetics.
What are the 'Laws of Genetics', and how does punctuated equilibrium 'oppose them'? It proposes no special evolutionary mechanism.
unsupported assertion
For example, the genetic apparatus of a lizard is devoted 100% to producing another lizard.
Not so. The 'genetic apparatus of a lizard' is devoted to making as many copies of itself as possible. It doesn't even know what a lizard is, let alone want to produce one.
The idea that such an indescribably complex, finely tuned, highly integrated, amazingly stable genetic apparatus involving hundreds of thousands of interdependent genes could be drastically altered and rapidly reintegrated in such a way that a new organism is actually an improvement over the preceding organism is contrary to all known laws of genetics and is pure speculation and groundless.
All the evidence we have shows that it happens.
It's interesting to see that creationists have always stated that gaps in the fossil records are proof of special creation, and now the evolutionists, with the new "punctuated equilibrium" theory, were starting to say that gaps in the fossil records were evidence of evolution!
The gaps are not produced as evidence for evolution. Punctuated equilibrium is one of a number of theories to explain the gaps. Bearing in mind that there is no theory of creation, what creationists state is hardly relevant.
In a nutshell, up to this point there is no proof of gradual evolution (over long periods of time), and rapid or sudden evolution is indistinguishable from special creation!
Utter nonsense
Natural Selection Is a Mindless Process
As part of the theory of evolution, Darwin also proposed that each time any organism evolves, every stage must be an immediate advantage to the species because "natural selection" is a mindless process with no idea where it is going, so it cannot plan or conceive an end goal.
Creationists immediately argued that how could many organs of the human body, such as the incredibly complicated human eye, develop bit by bit by chance mutation, not knowing it was going to be an eye?
Creationists had nothing to do with it. Darwin himself discussed the evolution of the human eye, which you would know if you read 'The Origin of the Species'.
Utter Bollocks!
Of what use would a half developed eye be? How could each step have been an advantage until the entire eye was complete?
Which is why Darwin went on to describe from examples in existing animals the finely graded steps leading from a patch of a few light-sensitive cells to the human eye.
Empty rhetoric
How about other parts of a body such as a kidney or jaw? How about the wings of a bird? What good is a half of a jaw or half of a wing? We could give endless examples here.
The evolutionary steps which led to such structures is pretty well known
Empty rhetoric
I may be permitted to say, as some excuse, that I had two distinct objects in view; firstly, to show that species had not been separately created, and secondly, that natural selection had been the chief agent of change... Hence, if I have erred in giving to natural selection great power, I have at least ... done good service in aiding to overthrow the dogma of separate creations. Charles R. Darwin, "The Descent of Man," bound in one volume with "The Origin of Species: The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life," [1871], Modern Library, Random House: New York, nd., pp.441-442
So why is this relevant?
If numerous species, belonging to the same genera or families, have really started into life all at once, the fact would be fatal to the theory of descent with slow modification through natural selection. Charles Darwin, ''The Origin of Species: The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life' A Facsimile of the First Edition, Harvard University Press, 1964, p. 302
Why is this relevant?
Breaking this quote up:
Survival of the fittest' and 'natural selection'. No matter what phraseology one generates, the basic fact remains the same: any physical change of any size, shape or form is strictly the result of purposeful alignment of billions of nucleotides (in the DNA). Why 'purposeful'? FALSE
Why 'purposeful'?
Nature or species do not have the capacity to rearrange them nor to add to them.
An unsuported assertion
Consequently no leap can occur from one species to another.
A conclusion drawn from false premises, and demonstrably false.
The only way we know for a DNA to be altered is through a meaningful intervention from an outside source of intelligence - one who know what it is doing, such as our genetic engineers are now performing in the laboratories I. L. Cohen, Officer of the Archaeological Institute of America. Member New York Academy of Sciences. ""Darwin Was Wrong - A Study in Probabilities"" New Research Publications, Inc., p. 209 "
Completely untrue. DNA can be altered by any number of factors both inside and outside the laboratory
No one has yet witnessed, in the fossil record, in real life, or in computer life, the exact transitional moments when natural selection pumps its complexity up to the next level. There is a suspicious barrier in the vicinity of species that either holds back this critical change or removes it from our sight. Kevin Kelly, Executive Editor of Wired Magazine, "Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines," [1994], Fourth Estate: London, 1995, reprint, p.475
Since when has the Executive Editor of Wired Magazine been considered to be an authority on evolutionary biology? Why are his views (which are ill-informed, by the way) quoted?
But how do you get from nothing to such an elaborate something if evolution must proceed through a long sequence of intermediate stages, each favored by natural selection? You can't fly with 2% of a wing ... How, in other words, can natural selection explain these incipient stages of structures that can only be used (as we now observe them) in much more elaborated forms? ... one point stands high above the rest: the dilemma of incipient stages. Mivart identified this problem as primary and it remains so today. Stephen Jay Gould, Prof of Geology and Paleontology, Harvard University
Another quote taken out of context to give the impression that Gould was saying something he wasn't. The quote is taken from an essay by Gould entitled "Not Necessarily a Wing". The full text can be found here:Gould - Functional Shift I suggest that you read the whole essay.
To quote another passage from the essay: "...believe that Darwinism has, and has long had, an adequate and interesting resolution to Mivart's challenge (although we have obviously been mightily unsuccessful in getting it across). Second, a paper recently published in the technical journal Evolution has provided compelling experimental evidence for this resolution applied to its most famous case—the origin of wings."
But please - read the essay, not snippets possibly presented out of context.
The non-utility of specific characters is the point on which Natural Selection as a theory of the origin of species is believed to fail Professor D.H. Scott, Extinct Plants, p. 22
This is, I presume: "SCOTT, Dukinfield Henry. Extinct Plants and Problems of Evolution: Founded on a Course of Public Lectures delivered at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, in 1922."
Please note: 1922
No recognized case of Natural Selection really selecting has been observed Professor Vernon Kellogg, Evolution, p.91
Vernon L. Kellogg (1867-1937). I can't find a reference to a work by him entitled 'Evolution'. It must have been published about 70 years ago in any case.
It is easy enough to make up stories, of how one form gave rise to another, and to find reasons why the stages should be favored by natural selection. But such stories are not part of science, for there is no way of putting them to the test." Luther D Sutherland, 'Darwin's Enigma', Master Books 1988, p7,8, 89
Luther D Sutherland, ? Do you mean Luther D Sunderland? Known for misquoting Colin Paterson with deliberate intent to deceive in spite of being asked by Paterson not to do so?
In other words, it's Natural Selection or a Creator. There is no middle ground. This is why prominent Darwinists like G. G. Simpson and Stephen Jay Gould, who are not secretive about their hostility to religion, cling so vehemently to natural selection. To do otherwise would be to admit the probability that there is design in nature—and hence a Designer. G. S. Johnston, The Genesis Controversy, Crisis, p. 17, May 1989
Another load of bollocks from a creationist
Is Evolution Occurring Right Now?
Darwin had always stressed that "survival of the fittest" was an underlying component of his theory of evolution. Though evolutionists cannot identify which aspects are important for survival because survival cannot be seen or proved.
This is a mind-blowingly stupid statement: 'survival cannot be seen or proved.' Of course it can. If it survives, it can been seen to survive and thus survival is proved! Every time my cat catches a mouse it is demonstrating survival of the fittest (i.e. the one that got away).
Terminally stupid
No evolutionist really knows how "natural selection" really works, or if it is currently working.
More offspring are born than survive to breed. The survivors pass on their genes to their offspring. That's how it works.
Terminally stupid
Neither has a "struggle for existence" been found to exist among plants and animals.
More offspring are born than survive to breed. The survivors pass on their genes to their offspring. That's how it works.
Terminally stupid
Yet evolutionists continue to preach the theory of evolution without any proof of what they are claiming.
They don't 'preach' (they leave that to the creationists). They offer a vast amount of evidence to support their claims
The Alleged "Missing Links" between Man and Ape
There have been several claims of fossils found that show evidence between man and ape:
Neanderthal Man - When the first "Neanderthal Man" was discovered in about 1856, it was thought to be a true link from ape to man. Though well-known biologists such as Virchow and many other scientists and medical authorities since that time have all declared the Neanderthal skull shows signs of severe rickets (a deficiency disease characterized by defective bone growth) which explains why it's appearance is slightly different.
This is Rudolf Ludwig Karl Virchow (1821 - 1902). Please note: he died over 100 years ago. Since his time we have found many more Neanderthal skeletons, and the rickets theory has been shown to be false.
Other authorities have also claimed that there have been skulls of modern man found over the last century which look very similar to the Neanderthal Man skull.
Citation? That may have been the case, but finds have shown that such claims are not supported by the evidence
In addition, there have been instances where the supposed Neanderthal Man bones were put on display in museums and it was later discovered the bones were arranged incorrectly which is what gave it the "hunched" appearance. When this incorrect arrangement was brought to light, it was still left on display as is.
Poor museum practice is hardly support for creation!
More recent finds of remains show Neanderthal Man to have an erect human posture.
Quite so
Neanderthals had short, narrow skulls, large cheekbones and noses and, most distinctive, bunlike bony bumps on the backs of their heads. Many modern Danes and Norwegians have identical features, Brace reported at the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association in Phoenix... Indeed, the present-day European skulls resemble Neanderthal skulls more closely than they resemble the skulls of American Indians or Australian aborigines. C. Loring Brace, "Neanderthal Traits Extant, Group Told". The Arizona Republic (Phoenix), p. B-5, (After measuring more than 500 relatively modern northwestern Europeans craniums last year. Report on: Physical anthropologist and evolutionist. University of Michigan
Was Brace argueing that Neanderthal Man was the same as modern man? Even if that is the case (and I don't know what the context of this quotation) why is his opinion more authoritative than those of anybody else in the scientific community who has worked on Neanderthal Man? What is his evidence?
Detailed comparisons of Neanderthal skeletal remains with those of modern humans have shown that there is nothing in Neanderthal anatomy that conclusively indicates locomotor, manipulative, intellectual or linguistic abilities inferior to those of modern humans. One of the world's foremost authorities on Neanderthal man, Erik Trinkaus (Natural History vol. 87, p. 10, 1978)
So what?
Back in 1872, Virchow, probably the greatest biologist of his day and the founder of medical pathology, cited evidence that the peculiarities of Neanderthal man were due not to a special place in the chain of evolution, but rather to a bad case of rickets and arthritis in later years. Virchow was not alone in citing this.
So what? Why is the opinion of Virchow, given over 130 years ago relevant to our modern understanding?
incredibly out-of-date
In 1957, the anatomists William Straus and A. J. Cave examined one of the French Neanderthals (La Chapelle-aux-Saints) and determined that the individual suffered from severe arthritis (as suggested by Virchow nearly 100 years earlier), which affected the vertebrae and bent the posture.
Note: one individual suffered from arthritis. Not all suffered from arthritis.
Perhaps our best impression of what Neanderthal man actually looked like comes from the work of the forensic artist, Jay Matterens. Matterens, who specializes in "fleshing out" skeletons with modeling clay to aid in the identification of homicide victims, worked closely with anthropologists to "flesh out" a skeleton of Neanderthal man. The result, pictured prominently on the cover of the magazine Science 81 (October, 1981), was essentially indistinguishable from modern man!
So what? Why should an artist's mistakes be relevant to a scientific understanding of Neanderthal Man?
The Alleged "Missing Links" between Man and Ape
Piltdown Man - The "piltdown" skull first was "discovered" in England in 1912 by Charles Dawson. For Forty-one years it was the leading evidence for evolution until in 1953 it was discovered to be a forgery. It was actually found to be a recent human skull combined with a female orangutan jaw, and was dyed and slightly modified to give it the appearance of age. It's interesting to note how all textbooks before 1953 showed piltdown man in every human's family tree, then one day it was no longer "true".
It wasn't true, because the specimen was a forgery, and revealed as such by scientific investigation. When it was revealed as forgery it was removed from the text books. Unlike creationists, scientist face up and admit to their mistakes.
What should have been done when Piltdown Man was revealed as a forgery?
The British Museum has documented other discoveries by Dawson as forgeries as well.
None that I've heard of, but so what?
Java Man - When this was "discovered" in 1891 by Dr. Eugene Dubois, two other skulls were found in the same formation and of the same age which were no different from skulls of modern Australian aborigines.
The other two skulls came from over a site 65 miles away. They were not from the same formation.
Dubois formed Java man from a chimp-like skullcap, human thigh bone, and teeth, all found within 50 feet of each other and he simply put them together, assuming they were from the same man.
Which is why subsequent researchers have focussed on the skullcap, which is not 'chimp-like'
Java man was later discredited by the finder himself, Dr. Eugene Dubios, as actually being a gibbon in 1938.
Dubois did not 'discredit' his find. He had his own rather idiosyncratic theory of human development, and tried to fit Java man into that framework.
Try reading Stephen Jay Gould's essay 'Men of the thirty-third division.' (In Eight little piggies. (pp. 124-37). New York: W.W.Norton.) There is also a good account of Java Man and Dubois in 'The Wisdom of Bones', by Alan Walker and Pat Shipman, (Alfred A Knopf 1996) a book which is well worth reading if you have any genuine interest in finding our more about recent research in human origins.
See also Answers in Genesis web site (a creationist site)
Yet despite Dubois recanting, Java man was left in many textbooks
Because Java man is a perfectly valid specimen of Homo erectus, a species of early man well-know from many specimens. And please note: Dubois did NOT "recant".
As we can see, many scientists who claim "scientific evidence" may simply be making guesses.
Not something you have demonstrated so far.
True science has no place for guessing.
What is 'true science'? Science works by making guesses (called hypotheses) and devising ways to test those guesses. If they fail the test, they get discarded.
Nebraska Man - In 1922 a tooth was discovered in Nebraska by Dr. Henry Fairfield Osborn
It was discovered by Harold Cook
who examined the tooth and claimed it had characteristics of a man, chimp and Java Man.
The identification was very tentative
Years later it was determined the tooth was actually from an extinct pig.
And it was never used as any evidence to support any theory of human evolution in any case.
Other Claims By Evolutionists
There are several other claims by evolutionists over the past 150 years that have been used as arguments in favor of the theory of evolution. Here are a few of them and evidence that they are false:
Vestigial Organs - Organs such as tonsils and appendix were originally thought to be useless vestiges of organs once used by man's ancestors. At one time there were over 100 vestigial organs listed. All have now been shown to have useful functions.
Untrue. Many have not been shown to have a function.
In addition, if there were such a thing as vestigial organs, we would see emerging organs in process of development on extinct and existing life forms, since if evolution is a fact, all organs must have rudimentary beginnings. The complete absence of these emerging organs as passed over quietly by evolutionists.
There is no 'complete absence of these emerging organs'. The fish/tetrapod transition is now very well documented. See Jenny Clack's book, 'Gaining Ground'.
Another interesting point to be made here is that evolution scientists claim that apes are our closest relatives and that man has vestigial organs that were used once, but are being phased out by evolution. If this is so, then scientists should be able to look at the ape (and other lesser animals) and determine how these vestigial organs were more fully functional. But you'll notice no scientist will touch this subject!
Just look at your feet. An ape can partly oppose its big toe. You can't. Your big toe is vestigial in this sense.
Transitional Forms - Many claim that transitional forms have been found, but this is simply speculation and there is no proof of it.
Only if you define transitional forms in such a way that 'proof' is impossible.
For example, at one time the Archaeopteryx, a fossilized bird-like creature, was used as an example of transition from reptile to bird. This has since been discredited by many since many other birds were since found in the same strata,
Simply not true. One specimen previously assigned to Archaeopteryx has been assigned to a new genus, Wellnhoferia. No other birds have been found in the Solnhofen Limestone.
many birds from that time were found to have teeth,
All birds from that time had teeth, because they were all Archaeopteryx or Wellnhoferia!
TRUE (but for the wrong reasons)
and many known birds existed at that time that could not fly. This is just one example.
A complete fabrication! Please provide a source for this astounding piece of misinformation.
Firstly, why, if species have descended from other species by insensibly fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms? Why is not all nature in confusion instead of the species being, as we see them, well defined? Charles R. Darwin, The Origin of Species: The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life, first edition reprint Avenel Books, p. 205
A quotation taken out of context. Read the original.
But, as by this theory innumerable transitional forms must have existed, why do we not find them embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth? Charles R. Darwin, The Origin of Species, Ch 6, p134
A quotation taken out of context. Read the original.
Instead of revealing a multitude of transitional forms through which the evolution of the cell might have occurred, molecular biology has served only to emphasize the enormity of the gap. We now know not only of the existence of a break between the living and non-living world, but also that it represents the most dramatic and fundamental of all the discontinuities of nature. Dr. Denton, Ph.D (Molecular Biology), An evolutionist currently doing biological research in Sydney, Australia 'Dr. Denton' is not an 'evolutionist'. He is a creationist hiding under the label of Intelligent Design. misrepresentation
Q33 Yet Gould and the American Museum people are hard to contradict when they say there are no transitional fossils. As a paleontologist myself, I am much occupied with the philosophical problems of identifying ancestral forms in the fossil record. Dr. Colin Patterson, Senior Palaeontologist, British Museum of Natural History, London "Darwin's Enigma: Fossils and Other Problems," [1984], Master Book Publishers: El Cajon CA, Fourth Edition, 1988, p89
One of the most infamous examples of a quotation taken out of context and used to imply a meaning diametrically opposed to the views of the originator.
Please note that the author of "Darwin's Enigma: Fossils and Other Problems" is NOT Colin Paterson, but Luther Sunderland. I don't know if this is a deliberate deception or simply poor research.
The more scientists have searched for the transitional forms between species, the more they have been frustrated." Newsweek, November 3, 1980
Newsweek? It's not even a scientific magazine, let alone an authoritative source on evolutionary theory!
Breaking up the quote
"We now come to perhaps the most serious of defects in the evolutionary theory (belief) - the complete absence of transitional forms.
Not is is not. Evolutionary theory does not rely on the fossil record for primary evidence.
If life has always been in a continual stream of transmutation from one form to another, as evolutionists insist, then we should certainly expect to find as many fossils of the intermediate stages between different forms as of the distinct kinds themselves
We do
Yet, no fossils have been found that can be considered transitional between the major groups or phyla!
There are. Archaeopteryx is just such a fossil
From the beginning, these organisms were just clearly and distinctly set apart from each other as they are today.
Not so. There is a lot of ambiguity in the fossil record.
Instead of finding a record of fine graduations preserved in the fossil record, we invariably find large gaps.
There are many case of fine gradations in the fossil record
This fact is absolutely FATAL to the general theory (belief) of evolution."Scott M. Huges. PH.D
Not is is not. Evolutionary theory does not rely on the fossil record for primary evidence.
Why Have We All Been Taught the Theory Of Evolution as Fact?
Despite the fact that no facts have ever been produced making the "Theory of Evolution" the "Fact of Evolution", many people still blindly cling to it since they do not believe in creation and feel it is the best and only thing they have to go on.
It is the best theory because it is supported by a vast amount of evidence. There is no scientific theory of creation.
argument from ignorance
Throughout the 1900's there have been numerous trials regarding teaching of evolution, creationism or both in the public schools. The Creationists have always fought to have the Theory of Evolution taught as THEORY, not fact, since it truly is only a theory to this day.
ALL science is based on theory. And the creationists have lost every times because they have no theory to offer.
argument from ignorance
The evolutionists on the other hand have always fought to have creationism NOT MENTIONED AT ALL in the schools.
Because there is no scientific theory of creation. It is not an alternative. It cannot be taught as science. Scientists have fought to prevent it being taught as science.
argument from ignorance
They have always refused to have creationism taught as an alternative to evolution.
There is no scientific theory of creation. It is not an alternative.
argument from ignorance
Since many people group creationism into a religious category, and religion was not to be taught in the public schools, evolution came out on top as what was to be taught to children in the public schools.
It is religion. There is no scientific theory of creation.
The crime of the matter is that it is that if it is taught in the schools without mention of creation as a possible alternative, children assume it is fact.
There is no scientific theory of creation. It is not a 'possible alternative'.
In addition, the theory of evolution has been taught as fact in every other branch of knowledge in the world, to the point where you may be laughed at or even refused funding (in the case of scientists) if you do not believe in the theory.
You'll be laughed at for believing that you can overthrow the theoretical underpinning of the sciences of biology and palaeontology with a few poorly understood arguments, some of which have been thoroughly discredited well over 100 years ago.
It's been over 150 years since the theory of evolution was proposed and promoted throughout the world, yet to this day we know no more about the origin of species then we did then,
What do you think that palaeontologists and biologist have been doing in that case? We know incomparably more about the origin of species now than we did 150 years ago! The whole science of genetics has developed from nothing within the past 150 years, and has made enormous contributions to our understanding of evolution.
Utter bollocks!
and all of the proofs mentioned above have been thrown out by evolutionists.
What 'proofs' have you offered? I have seen none.
And despite all of the facts against each evolutionist argument, the evolutionists continue to grasp at straws and blindly accept a theory which is CLEARLY not fact.
A theory cannot be a fact! A theory can be very, very well-supported by evidence. The evidence that evolution has occurred is overwhelming. To believe that it has not occurred would fly in the face of all the evidence.
Many do this simply because they refuse to believe the alternative (creation),
There is no scientific theory of creation. It is not an alternative.
or because they fear to be at odds with their colleagues.
The only example of an honest creationist I have heard of is Kurt Wise.
Read about him here:
Dawkins on Kurt Wise
For the rest, I know of no palaeontologist or biologist who sees creation as a scientifically sound alternative to evolution.
Here are some quotes that show how evolutionists cling to the theory of evolution regardless of proof against it.
Is then evolution a scientifically ascertained fact? No! We must hold it as an act of faith because there is no alternative Professor D.H. Scott, in his presidential address to the British Association, 1921
I disagree with Scott. I don't hold to evolution as an 'act of faith'. It is a theory well-supported by a lot more evidence than was available over 80 years ago.
The theory of evolution is a theory universally accepted, not because it can be proved true, but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible Professor D.M.S. Watson, University of London, in speech to zoologists of the British Association, 1929
Quite so. I fail to see how this supports your case.
Because there are no alternatives, we would almost have to accept natural selection as the explanation of life on this planet even if there were no evidence for it. Steven Pinker, Professor of Psychology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA., "How the Mind Works," [1997], Penguin: London, 1998, pp.162-163
Quite so. I fail to see how this supports your case. Note that he does not say that there is no evidence for it.
Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it only because the only alternative is special creation which is unthinkable. Sir Arthur Keith, Physical Anthropologist and Anatomist
I agree with Keith (who died in 1955, by the way) that special creation is unthinkable. It has no validity as a scientific theory. I don't know where or when he said this.
According to the current timetable, insects first appeared about 350,000,000 years ago, and among the earliest were the silverfishes and cockroaches we have with us virtually unchanged today. Where is the evolution? Mr. R. E. Snodgrass, Bureau of Entomology, U.S. Department of Agriculture as quoted from the Smithsonian Report, 1931, p. 443
How is this relevant?
Many ancient species are identical with forms still living; and many organs of their bodies, such as the claw of the lobster or the multiple eye of the crab, are precisely the same as the earliest stages without any sign of improvement. Whole categories of facts such as these, seem to be lost sight of by those whose vision is obscured by evolutionary theories; for they run counter to any conception of evolution Dr. W. Bell Dawson, F.R.C.S., a Laureate of the French Academy of Sciences
Is this Dr. W. Bell Dawson who was Engineer-in-Charge of the Tidal Survey of Canada in 1893? Why should he be considered an authority on evolution well over 100 years later?
mind-blowingly irrelevant
Read quotes from Darwin himself shooting down his own theory here! ***
I am quite conscious that my speculations run quite beyond the bounds of true science. Charles Darwin, In a letter to Asa Gray, a Harvard professor of biology. Quoted in N.C. Gillespie, 'Charles Darwin and the Problem of Creation' (1979), p. 2 [University of Chicago book]
How is this "shooting down his own theory "? He admits to some speculation. This is a mark of his scrupulous honesty.
See sentence in BOLD below. Large portions of Darwin's actual letter are included before and after the sentence in BOLD below, showing that this is clearly not out of context:
Ilkley Wells, Yorkshire,
November 23 [1859].
My dear Lyell, You seemed to have worked admirably on the species question; there could not have been a better plan than reading up on the opposite side. I rejoice profoundly that you intend admitting the doctrine of modification in your new edition;† nothing, I am convinced, could be more important for its success. I honour you most sincerely. To have maintained in the position of a master, one side of a question for thirty years, and then deliberately give it up, is a fact to which I much doubt whether the records of science offer a parallel. For myself, also, I rejoice profoundly; for, thinking of so many cases of men pursuing an illusion for years, often and often a cold shudder has run through me, and I have asked myself whether I may not have devoted my life to a phantasy. Now I look at it as morally impossible that investigators of truth, like you and Hooker, can be wholly wrong, and therefore I rest in peace. Thank you for criticisms, which, if there be a second edition, I will attend to. I have been thinking that if I am much execrated as an atheist, etc., whether the admission of the doctrine of natural selection could injure your works; but I hope and think not, for as far as I can remember, the virulence of bigotry is expended on the first offender, and those who adopt his views are only pitied as deluded, by the wise and cheerful bigots.
Charles Darwin, Life and Letters, 1887, Vol. 2, p. 229
How is this "shooting down his own theory "? He admits to some doubts. This is a mark of his scrupulous honesty. He thanks Lyell and Hooker for providing evidence to support his theory
See sentences in BOLD below.
Portions of Chapter 6 in Darwin's Origin of Species are included before and after the sentences in BOLD below, showing that these are clearly not out of context:
LONG before the reader has arrived at this part of my work, a crowd of difficulties will have occurred to him. Some of them are so serious that to this day I can hardly reflect on them without being in some degree staggered; but, to the best of my judgment, the greater number are only apparent, and those that are real are not, I think, fatal to theory.
Contrary to the claims of the author of the site, these quotations are taken out of context. Darwin starts his Chapter by outlining possible objections to his theory, then goes on later in the chapter to argue against those objections.
These difficulties and objections may be classed under the following heads:—First, why, if species have descended from other species by fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms? Why is not all nature in confusion, instead of the species being, as we see them, well defined?
Secondly, is it possible that an animal having, for instance, the structure and habits of a bat, could have been formed by the modification of some other animal with widely different habits and structure? Can we believe that natural selection could produce, on the one hand, an organ of trifling importance, such as the tail of a giraffe, which serves as a fly-flapper, and, on the other hand, an organ so wonderful as the eye?
Thirdly, can instincts be acquired and modified through natural selection? What shall we say to the instinct which leads the bee to make cells, and which has practically anticipated the discoveries of profound mathematicians?
Fourthly, how can we account for species, when crossed, being sterile and producing sterile offspring, whereas, when varieties are crossed, their fertility is unimpaired?
Charles Darwin, Origin of Species, Ch. 6, p133
Please note that he says ", to the best of my judgment, the greater number are only apparent, and those that are real are not, I think, fatal to theory" - a part not emboldened!
Portions of Chapter 6 in Darwin's Origin of Species are included before and after the sentences in BOLD below, showing that these are clearly not out of context:
Organs of extreme Perfection and Complication.
To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree. When it was first said that the sun stood still and the world turned round, the common sense of mankind declared the doctrine false; but the old saying of Vox populi, vox Dei, as every philosopher knows, cannot be trusted in science. Reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a simple and imperfect eye to one complex and perfect can be shown to exist, each grade being useful to its possessor, as is certainly the case; if further, the eye ever varies and the variations be inherited, as is likewise certainly the case; and if such variations should be useful to any animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, should not be considered as subversive of the theory. How a nerve comes to be sensitive to light, hardly concerns us more than how life itself originated; but I may remark that, as some of the lowest organisms, in which nerves cannot be detected, are capable of perceiving light, it does not seem impossible that certain sensitive elements in their sarcode should become aggregated and developed into nerves, endowed with this special sensibility. Charles Darwin, Origin of Species, Ch. 6, p144
See sentences in BOLD below.
Portions of Chapter 1 and 2 in Darwin's Origin of Species are included before and after the sentences in BOLD below, showing that these are clearly not out of context:
This Abstract, which I now publish, must necessarily be imperfect. I cannot here give references and authorities for my several statements; and I must trust to the reader reposing some confidence in my accuracy. No doubt errors will have crept in, though I hope I have always been cautious in trusting to good authorities alone. I can here give only the general conclusions at which I have arrived, with a few facts in illustration, but which, I hope, in most cases will suffice. No one can feel more sensible than I do of the necessity of hereafter publishing in detail all the facts, with references, on which my conclusions have been grounded; and I hope in a future work to do this. For I am well aware that scarcely a single point is discussed in this volume on which facts cannot be adduced, often apparently leading to conclusions directly opposite to those at which I have arrived. A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question; and this is here impossible.
I much regret that want of space prevents my having the satisfaction of acknowledging the generous assistance which I have received from very many naturalists, some of them personally unknown to me. I cannot, however, let this opportunity pass without expressing my deep obligations to Dr. Hooker, who, for the last fifteen years, has aided me in every possible way by his large stores of knowledge and his excellent judgment.

Origin of Species, Ch. 1, p 1-2
See sentence in BOLD below.
Large portions of Darwin's actual letter are included before and after the sentence in BOLD below, showing that this is clearly not out of context:
This is an example of Darwin's modesty. He based his argument for natural selection on a large number of facts. He has the honesty to admit that there are gaps and imperfections in his theory. It is worth noting that since his time (this was written in 1859, after all) most of those gaps and imperfections have been explained.
Letter 79. TO ASA GRAY.
Down, November 29th [1859]
This shall be such an extraordinary note as you have never received from me, for it shall not contain one single question or request. I thank you for your impression on my views. Every criticism from a good man is of value to me. What you hint at generally is very, very true: that my work will be grievously hypothetical, and large parts by no means worthy of being called induction, my commonest error being probably induction from too few facts. I had not thought of your objection of my using the term "natural selection" as an agent. I use it much as a geologist does the word denudation-for an agent, expressing the result of several combined actions. I will take care to explain, not merely by inference, what I mean by the term; for I must use it, otherwise I should incessantly have to expand it into some such (here miserably expressed) formula as the following: "The tendency to the preservation (owing to the severe struggle for life to which all organic beings at some time or generation are exposed) of any, the slightest, variation in any part, which is of the slightest use or favourable to the life of the individual [page 127]
It is also worth noting that the problems he identifies in this extract have been resolved by the growth in our knowledge of genetics.
which has thus varied; together with the tendency to its inheritance." Any variation, which was of no use whatever to the individual, would not be preserved by this process of "natural selection." But I will not weary you by going on, as I do not suppose I could make my meaning clearer without large expansion. I will only add one other sentence: several varieties of sheep have been turned out together on the Cumberland mountains, and one particular breed is found to succeed so much better than all the others that it fairly starves the others to death. I should here say that natural selection picks out this breed, and would tend to improve it, or aboriginally to have formed it...
Charles R. Darwin, Letter
to Asa Gray of November 29, 1859, in Darwin F., ed., "More Letters of Charles Darwin," John Murray: London, 1903, Vol. I, pp.126-127
See sentence in BOLD below.
Large portions of Darwin's actual letter are included before and after the sentence in BOLD below, showing that this is clearly not out of context:
I completely fail to see how this supports your argument in any way.
But I did not sit down intending to scribble thus; but to beg a favour of you. I gave Hooker a list of species of Silene, on which Gärtner has experimentised in crossing: now I want extremely to be permitted to say that such and such are believed by Mr. Bentham to be true species, and such and such to be only varieties. Unfortunately and stupidly, Gärtner does not append author's name to the species.
I completely fail to see how this supports your argument in any way.
Thank you heartily for what you say about my book; but you will be greatly disappointed; it will be grievously too hypothetical. It will very likely be of no other service than collocating some facts; though I myself think I see my way approximately on the origin of species. But, alas, how frequent, how almost universal it is in an author to persuade himself of the truth of his own dogmas. My only hope is that I certainly see very many difficulties of gigantic stature.
If you can remember any cases of one introduced species beating out or prevailing over another, I should be most thankful to hear it. I believe the common corn-poppy has been seen indigenous in Sicily. I should like to know whether you suppose that seedlings of this wild plant would stand a contest with our own poppy; I should almost expect that our poppies were in some degree acclimatised and accustomed to our cornfields.
More letters of Charles Darwin. 2 vols., London, John Murray, 1903, Ch 6, p 450